The Family Business 100: America’s largest family companies


* Denotes company whose stock is publicly traded.

Revenue and employment figures are the most recent available.
The ranking from our 2009 list is given in parentheses. (NR) = Not ranked

61 The Timken Co.*(51)
Timken family
Ball bearings
Canton, OH
Founded: 1899
Revenues: $4.06 billion
Employees: 19,839

Henry Timken patented a design for ball bearings that could be used by carriages. Soon he and his sons, William and Henry, began making bearings and axles for the growing auto industry. By the 1920s, the company was producing its own steel and providing bearings for trains. Today Timken has 50 plants that make bearings for consumer products, lubricants and components for aircraft engines. When sales plummeted in 2009, the company cut payrolls by 10%. The family owns 10% of the shares. Sixth-generation member Ward J. “Tim” Timken Jr., 43, is chairman. His father, Ward Timken, 68, also serves on the board.

62 (tie) Hallmark Cards Inc. (60)
Hall family
Greeting cards
Kansas City, MO
Founded: 1910
Revenues: $4 billion
Employees: 13,200

Founder Joyce Hall (1891-1982) sold postcards as a teenager. Then he started producing original greeting cards. By 1922, the firm had national distribution. In the 1930s, Hall used radio ads to promote the wholesome cards. In the 1950s, the company began opening retail stores and introduced Hallmark Hall of Fame on television. Today 40,000 stores carry the cards. The company sells electronic cards and gifts through its website. In 2009, Hallmark began selling Disney e-cards. The founder’s son Donald J. Hall Sr., 82, is chairman. His son Donald Hall Jr. is CEO. The family owns two-thirds of the company.

62 (tie) Hasbro Inc.*(65)
Hassenfeld family
Toys, home entertainment
Pawtucket, RI
Founded: 1923
Revenues: $4 billion
Employees: 5,800

Brothers Henry and Hillel Hassenfeld sold pencil boxes. During World War II, second-generation members began making toys, including nurse and doctor kits. In the 1950s, Hassenfeld Brothers became one of the first toy makers to advertise on TV, promoting Mr. Potato Head. The company scored a big hit in the 1960s with G.I. Joe. It has acquired numerous companies, including Milton Bradley, Tonka, Kenner Parker Toys and Cranium Inc. After third-generation CEO Stephen died at age 47 in 1989, his brother Alan took over. Alan remains on the board and holds 10% of the stock. While sales are slow in the U.S., the company is expanding rapidly in Brazil and China. Hasbro has introduced videogame versions of its classics, including Monopoly and Scrabble.

62 (tie) Sheetz Inc. (72)
Sheetz family
Convenience stores
Altoona, PA
Founded: 1952
Revenues: $4 billion
Employees: 9,300

Bob Sheetz bought one of his father’s five dairy stores and hired his brother Stephen, 63, to work part-time. By 1983, the brothers had 100 convenience stores, most of them in small towns in Pennsylvania. The chain now has 360 stores in six states. In 1995, Bob’s son Stanton, 55, became CEO and Stephen moved to chairman; other family members serve in executive positions. The company grew rapidly by opening stores that were more than twice the size of typical competitors. Customers are attracted by freshly prepared sandwiches as well as groceries, cigarettes and gasoline.

65 Susser Holdings Corp.*(NR)
Susser family
Convenience stores, gas stations
Corpus Christi, TX
Founded: 1938
Revenues: $3.93 billion
Employees: 7,165

In 1938 Sam Susser took over operation of two service stations that his wife, Minna, had inherited and began selling fuel to local companies. Their two sons, Jerry and Sam J., joined Susser Petroleum Company in the 1960s. They invented the first system that allowed customers to purchase gas with a credit card from unattended stations. Sam J.’s son, Sam L., joined the business in 1988. The company became Southguard Corporation to acquire 26 7-Eleven stores. In 1998, Southguard was merged into Susser Holdings. The company operates its retail stores through its subsidiary, Stripes LLC; several years ago, it converted its Circle K stores to the Stripes name. It made nine acquisitions between 1998 and 2002, including A.N. Rusche Distributing Company, and consolidated its wholesale operations through its subsidiary, Susser Petroleum Company LLC. Today the business is the largest non-refining distributor of motor fuel. Susser Holdings also provides environmental consulting, maintenance and construction management for the petroleum and convenience store industry through another subsidiary, Applied Petroleum Technologies Ltd. It operates more than 510 convenience stores under the Stripes and Town & Country brands. Sam L. Susser is president and CEO; his father, Sam J. Susser, was chairman from 1998-92 and now is a director.

66 The Hearst Corp. (56)
Hearst family
New York, NY
Founded: 1887
Revenues: $3.85 billion
Employees: 15,000

Mining heir William Randolph Hearst (1863-1951) took over the San Francisco Examiner and the New York Journal. Aiming at mass audiences, he built what was then the nation’s largest newspaper chain. His last surviving son, Randolph, served as chairman from 1973-1996. He was succeeded by nephew George R. Hearst Jr., 84, who remains chairman. George R. Hearst III, 56, is vice president and general manager of Hearst’s Albany Times-Union. The Hearst empire now includes 16 newspapers (Houston Chronicle, San Francisco Chronicle), 20 U.S. magazines (Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, Town & Country), 29 TV stations and ownership in cable networks (ESPN, A&E). Advertising revenues have remained weak in recent years. But in 2010, the company paid $919 million to acquire a group of 100 international magazines.

67 (tie) Cintas Corp.*(63)
Farmer family
Industrial services
Cincinnati, OH
Founded: 1929
Revenues: $3.81 billion
Employees: 30,000

Founder Richard “Doc” Farmer salvaged old rags and sold them to factories. His grandson Richard T. Farmer, 76, took over the company and began renting uniforms in 1965. The company grew rapidly, establishing plants and acquiring uniform companies. Today the company is the largest uniform supplier in the country. Cintas also offers clean-room apparel and document shredding, imaging and storage services. Scott Farmer, 52, great-grandson of the founder, is CEO and holds 10% of the stock.

67 (tie) Simon Property Group Inc.*(68)
Simon family
Real estate development
Indianapolis, IN
Founded: 1959
Revenues: $3.81 billion
Employees: 5,000

New York tailor’s son Melvin Simon (d. 2009) moved to Indianapolis and became a leasing agent. He began building shopping centers and was joined by brother Herbert, 76. They built indoor malls in the 1960s. In 1992, Simon completed the biggest mall in the country, Mall of America, outside Minneapolis. Simon merged with rival DeBartolo in 1996 to create the biggest mall owner. In late 2009, Simon acquired 21 Prime Outlets malls and renamed them Premium Outlets. Today the company owns 340 properties, including regional malls, outlet malls and shopping centers. Melvin’s son, David Simon, 49, is chairman and CEO. Herbert is chairman emeritus. The family owns 10% of the stock.

69 J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc.*(69)
Hunt family
Transportation logistics
Lowell, AR
Founded: 1961
Revenues: $3.79 billion
Employees: 15,223

Arkansas sharecropper’s son Johnnie B. Hunt (d. 2006) started as a truck driver hauling rice and poultry. He bought used trucks and quickly expanded in the 1970s and 1980s. The company went public in 1983. J.B. Hunt now has more than 8,500 tractors. The company operates 45,000 containers that can be shipped by truck or rail. With rail traffic increasing, revenues jumped 18% in 2010. Wal-Mart is a top customer. Johnnie’s son J. Bryan Hunt Jr., 52, serves on the board.

70 Chick-fil-A Inc. (87)
Cathy family
Fast-food restaurants
Atlanta, GA
Founded: 1946
Revenues: $3.58 billion
Employees: 50,000

S. Truett Cathy, 89, and his brother Ben opened a 24-hour diner, the Dwarf Grill, in 1946. In the early 1960s, he developed a boneless breast of chicken sandwich and opened the first Chick-fil-A self-serve outlet. The chain ventured into fast-food restaurants in shopping malls, then a new concept, and grew quickly. Now there are 1,500 locations in 39 states. Truett Cathy remains chairman and CEO; his son Dan Cathy is president. Dan’s brother Donald “Bubba” Cathy is senior vice president and manages the Dwarf House and Truett’s Grill restaurants, with 14 locations in metro Atlanta. The family are devout Southern Baptists. Franchise operators must agree to close stores on Sundays.

71 Hyatt Hotels Corp.*(NR)
Pritzker family
Hotels and resorts
Chicago, IL
Founded: 1957
Revenues: $3.53 billion
Enployees: 45,000

Hyatt von Dehn sold his share of the Hyatt House at Los Angeles International Airport to Jay Pritzker in 1957. Jay’s younger brother Donald (d. 1972), under the tutelage of von Dehn’s partner Jack D. Crouch, took over day-to-day operations of the company and acquired motels and hotels. Under Donald’s leadership, Hyatt became the fastest-growing U.S. hotel chain. In 1967, Hyatt opened the first atrium hotel, the Hyatt Regency Atlanta. In 1969, Donald opened Hyatt’s first overseas hotel, the Hyatt Regency Hong Kong. The company opened its first resort, the Hyatt Regency Maui, in 1980. Today Hyatt operates more than 470 managed, franchised and owned properties in 45 countries. Other brands are Grand Hyatt, Andaz, Park Hyatt (luxury), Hyatt Place (select service) and Hyatt Summerfield Suites (extended stay). In April 2011, the Pritzker family announced they would decrease their ownership stake in the Hyatt chain to less than 50% as part of an agreement among 11 Pritzker family members to divest and divide the family’s assets by the end of 2011. Even after decreasing their stake, the family would still maintain control of the company via a dual-stock structure. Before the public stock sale, some family members sold Hyatt shares among themselves. Executive chairman Tom Pritzker now owns more of the company’s common stock than any other family member.

72 Belk Inc. (66)
Belk family
Department stores
Charlotte, NC
Founded: 1888
Revenues: $3.51 billion
Employees: 23,800

William H. Belk (1862-1952) opened a small shop and called it the “Cheapest Store on Earth.” His physician brother John (d. 1928) joined in 1891. The brothers offered low prices and expanded during the Depression by buying out competitors. The chain grew from 29 stores in 1929 to 220 in 1945. The founder ran the company until his death at 89. John M. Belk (d. 2007) retired in 2004 after 50 years as CEO. His nephew Thomas M. (“Tim”) Belk, 56, is CEO. Tim’s brothers H.W. McKay Belk and John R. Belk serve on the board. The company now operates 300 stores in 15 states. Most stores anchor malls and shopping centers. The chain sells mid-priced apparel, jewelry and home furnishings. To compete against public chains, the company focuses on exclusive private-label merchandise.

73 The Walsh Group (81)
Walsh family
Chicago, IL
Founded: 1898
Revenues: $3.46 billion
Employees: 5,000

Founded by Matthew Myles Walsh, the company ranks as one of the largest contractors in the country. Subsidiary Archer Western Contractors is headquartered in Atlanta. Third-generation member Matthew Walsh, 65, is CEO. His brother Daniel is president. The company builds highways, bridges, warehouses and education facilities. Its corporate equipment fleet is valued at more than $450 million. The company has grown organically rather than through acquisition.

74 Dot Foods Inc. (NR)
Tracy family
Foodservice redistributors
Mount Sterling, IL
Founded: 1960
Revenues: $3.4 billion
Employees: 3,159

Founder Robert F. Tracy (d. 2006) began as a part-time employee at a dairy business. He started Associated Dairy Products to sell and distribute three dairy-derived milk powder ingredients to food manufacturers. The company was renamed Dot Foods Inc. in 1981. In 1994, Dot launched the first redistribution e-commerce website in the foodservice industry. Dot specializes in transporting dry, frozen and refrigerated products from manufacturers who buy in quantities of less than a truckload; it also offers foodservice equipment and supplies and sells food ingredients to dairies, bakeries, confectioners and meat processors. Seven of Robert Tracy’s 12 children are active. Chairman Pat Tracy was CEO from 1996 to 2006. His brother John Tracy succeeded him as CEO in 2006. Brother Joe Tracy is president and chief operating officer. Another brother, Jim Tracy, is senior VP/general counsel and secretary of the board. Sister Jean Tracy Buckley is a director and president of the Tracy Family Foundation. Other siblings serving as executive officers are Tom Tracy, controller, and Dick Tracy, executive vice president, foodservice.

75 The Golub Corp. (79)
Golub family
Schenectady, NY
Founded: 1932
Revenues: $3.36 billion
Employees: 23,000

Brothers Ben and Bill Golub opened an innovative store that offered a barbershop and cafeteria as well as selling groceries and clothing. By the 1950s, the family had 25 Central Market stores in Upstate New York and Massachusetts. In the 1970s, the chain began emphasizing discounts and changed its name to Price Chopper. Bill’s son Neil became CEO. Neil’s daughter Mona is vice president. The company now operates 125 stores. The family owns 45% of the chain; employees hold most of the rest.

76 Constellation Brands Inc.*(NR)
Sands family
Victor, NY
Founded: 1945
Revenues: $3.33
Employees: 4,300

Marvin Sands (d. 1999) developed his own brand of wine and named it Richards Wild Irish Rose after his son Richard, now 60. The company expanded, buying small wineries in the 1960s and 1970s. In the 1980s, Marvin introduced Sun Country Coolers and bought kosher winemaker Manischewitz. Richard became CEO in 1993. He bought Paul Masson and Inglenook. The company paid $1.36 billion for Robert Mondavi. Richard is now chairman. Brother Robert, 52, is CEO. The Sands family owns 65% of the voting stock.

77 Raley’s Inc. (70)
Teel family
Food and drug stores
West Sacramento, CA
Founded: 1935
Revenues: $3.2 billion
Employees: 13,400

Arkansan Thomas P. Raley, the 13th of 14 children, quit his job as a Safeway store manager to open his own grocery in Placerville, Calif. He introduced drive-in markets, prepackaged meats and side-by-side drug and grocery stores. Today the company operates 130 supermarkets in California and Nevada. The chain has become known as a full-service operation with relatively high prices. That has proved a problem in recent years as customers have fled to discounters. To compete against Wal-Mart, the company has been cutting costs and promoting low prices. The founder’s only child, Joyce, 79, worked in the stores as a teen and married co-worker Jim Teel. Joyce is the sole owner. She and Jim are co-chairmen. The Teels’ son, four daughters and sons-in-law are also active.

78 Gilbane Inc. (83)
Gilbane family
Providence, RI
Founded: 1873
Revenues: $3.14 billion
Employees: 1,086

Founded by brothers William and Thomas Gilbane as a carpentry and general contracting shop, the company is now a major construction firm. Projects include the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum, the Vietnam War Memorial and Winter Olympics venues in Lake Placid, N.Y. The fourth-generation CEO is Thomas Gilbane, 63. William J. Gilbane, 64, is vice president. The vice chair is Paul J. Choquette Jr., 72, son of third-generation family member Virginia Gilbane Choquette. In August 2010 Gilbane acquired Innovative Technical Solutions Inc., a design-build, infrastructure and environmental firm and a major provider of engineering and construction services to the federal government.

79 Diversey Inc. (80)
Johnson family
Commercial cleaning, hygiene
Sturtevant, WI
Founded: 1999
Revenues: $3.11 billion
Employees: 10,400

Split off from SC Johnson & Son in 1999 (see #33 above). Provides products for commercial cleaning, pest control and food sanitation. Customers include retailers and foodservice operators. The Johnson family controls 50% of the firm, while the rest is held by a private equity investor. The owners agreed to sell the company for $4.3 billion for cash and stock to Sealed Air Corporation. The deal is expected to close by the end of 2011. Diversey shareholders will control 15% of Sealed Air’s common shares.

80 (tie) E.&J. Gallo Winery (85)
Gallo family
Modesto, CA
Founded: 1933
Revenues: $3 billion
Employees: 5,000

After their parents died, Ernest and Julio Gallo inherited the family’s vinyards. While Julio made the wine, Ernest developed a national distribution system. In the 1950s, the company grew rapidly by advertising heavily and keeping prices low. Big sellers included Thunderbird and fruit-flavored Boone’s Farm Apple Wine. Today the company sells 60 brands, ranging from low-priced wine coolers to premium wines that sell for $50 a bottle. Julio’s son Robert, 76, is co-chair along with his brother-in-law, Jim Coleman, 76. Ernest’s son Joseph, 67, is president. Third- and fourth-generation family members work in the business.